Jaguar’s Quest

  • In this mural the horse, as the animal used to conquer the Americas, represent the oppression the youth needs to overcome.
  • The preparation set-up illustrates you need that a lot of paint for such a monumental mural.
  • This mural beautifies West Brooklyn Community High School’s cafeteria.
  • It was imperative for the youth that the faces represent both feminine and masculine strong people of color.
  • The sphinx looks out over an Adrinkra symbol of being open.
  • A panorama of the full mural shows its epic journey.

Project Description

First opened in 2006, West Brooklyn Community High School is a transfer school that has enabled hundreds of students to graduate and developed lasting relationships with a once resistant neighborhood through its commitment to meaningful community-based connections. “Jaguar’s Quest” illustrates the transformative impact WBCHS makes on its students, empowering them with the inspiration and knowledge necessary to achieve success.
The mural has four main concepts: power, inspiration, freedom, and knowledge. The mural uses a main character, represented by the jaguar, to build the narrative. Together, the team explored how this character is shaped by the challenges it faces. Moving left to right, the first stage of the mural is the jaguar’s constellation being born from a black hole and transforming into a medicine man that is blessing and opening the path into awakening. Then appears a conglomerate of faces merging and facing onto different directions. The creation of the collective thinking of these monuments takes the shape of a phoenix that the jaguar rides for combat. Finally, the character transforms into a sphinx who writes an Adinkra symbol that represents the importance of being constantly open to learn throughout life.
Through this mural, WBCHS students told a very personal story of awakening and self-discovery through rich art historical references and symbolism from diverse cultural traditions, from Incan cosmogony to Ancestral Pueblo culture to Mexican Muralism.
Download educational curriculum (pdf)

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Project Info

Fun Facts

Draw or write a metaphorical quest about overcoming your own struggles.
The jaguar is an important symbol in many cultures in the Americas as it represents the power to face fear.
Fun Fact
One mural the team used as inspiration was “Presencia de América Latina” by Jorge Gonzales Camarena.